Why 30 years at Disney, not 40?

Disney Institute speaker retirement party
Love the juxtaposition of real photo and the reflection of the real photo. Got a photo of me taking a photo of me.

Why 30 years at Disney, not 40?


Our son was about to enter High School.

Disney Institute (DI) was requiring (expecting) more frequent travel, to more distant locations, for longer durations.

Didn’t want to wake up in four years and our Son’s life launches him on a trajectory (like me when i graduated HS) whereby he never returns home to live.

Note: Could have transferred out of DI Delivery Operations and secured a position back in Hotel Ops. Could have stayed the 40 years at Disney and retired in 2024.

Turns out, was born to teach but never knew it until 1999, at age 40.

Turns out, was born to be a ship captain not a deck hand.

Turns out, was willing to “burn the ships” to ensure what roughly 3-5% succeed at – building a sustainable, long-term enterprise.

Hidden track: The Disney layoffs from the 2008-09 Great Recession were the catalyst for considering what a Plan B looks like.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.